Agricultural land values in Swift County starting to fall

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By Reed Anfinson
Swift County Monitor-News

“This was the first year in a number of years that we did lower our ag values in the county,” retiring Swift County Assessor Wayne Knutson told the Swift County Board of Commissioners at their June 18 meeting.

“It amounted to about 5 percent,” he said of the overall lowering of agricultural land values. “I didn’t lower every township the same. There were four townships that I didn’t make any changes to. There were 12 townships that were lowered about 5 percent on the tillable value. And there were four townships that I lowered about 7 percent on their tillable value.”

Seven years of strong commodity prices pushed agricultural land sales recorded levels by 2013 with the sales values reflected in ever-higher market values for local taxes. Despite falling prices, sales of farmland remained strong in some areas for several more years.

In 2013, Dublin Township saw the value of an acre of land jump $1,201 to $8,244 from $7,043 in 2012. By 2015 it was up to $8,652. For 2019, its value has fallen to $7,397, a decrease of $1,225 an acre, or 14.5 percent, since 2015.

Since this peak land value years around 2015, Cashel Township has seen the largest drop in land values going from $7,952 a tillable acre to $6,420 an acre, a drop of $1,532, the most of any of the 21 townships in the county. Hegbert Township saw its tillable acre value drop from $6,578 to $5,310 an acre, a drop of $1,268 an acre, or 19.3 percent.

One township saw an increase in its value between 2015 and 2019, but that increase is only worth noting in that it wasn’t a decrease. Its value went up $2, from $4,269 to $4,271.

The average drop in tillable acre value across the 21 county townships was $730 over the past four years with it dropping from $6,138 to $5,408, a decline of 11.9 percent.

The average value of an acre of tillable farmland in the county dropped $221 between 2018 and 2019, a decline of 4.1 percent. The average value of a tillable acre went from $5,629 last year to $5,408 this year...


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